Thursday August 16, 2018

So what? Blackface Gigi on Vogue

PEOPLE take offense at anything all the time these days. Sometimes it helps to improve a company’s product or a government’s job but most of the time, they get too blinded with the idea of being oppressed that they lost touch of what it actually means.

Recently, Gigi Hadid received backlash from netizens on her Vogue Italia cover being a “blackface”. Blackface by definition is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. It being a practice to represent a race in art presentations is not in any form bad but if it was made with the intention to embarrass the black people, then, that is offensive.

If we explore the context of what is offensive on the grounds of racism, then, Bela Padilla’s March 2012 FHM Cover is offensive. The cover showed fair-skinned Padilla in a bright pink bikini standing against a background of five black women in dark bikinis with a slogan that reads, "Bela Padilla: Stepping out of the shadows”. It was immediately recalled by the actress’ home network and apologies followed which were then accepted by the crowd.

Vogue Italia’s cover is not at all offensive, does not even come close the borderline.

The supermodel took to Twitter to address the emerging controversy involving the May issue of Vogue Italia, shot by Steven Klein and starring her and male model Justin Martin.

Soon after the cover was shared online on Wednesday, many fans took issue with Hadid's styling, specifically her heavily bronzed skin. Others claimed she didn't look like herself altogether and that her face had been altered by the likes of Photoshop.

By Thursday afternoon, the 23-year-old catwalk queen addressed the issue head on while sharing a snap of her leaving the setback in April.

"This is a photo of me returning home from shooting my Italian Vogue cover on April can see the level I had been bronzed to on set that day. Please understand that my control of a shoot 1. is non-existent in terms of creative direction. 2. ends completely when I leave set, and anything done to a photo in post if out of my control fully," she explained in defense of herself. "The bronzing and photoshop is a style that S. Klein has done for many years and I believe was what was expected from the shoot (to show me in a different way creatively), BUT, although I understand what Vogue Italia's intentions were, it was not executed correctly, and the concerns that have been brought up are valid."